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Proposal in CPDRC manual questioned

Kristine B. Quintas (The Freeman) - May 10, 2017 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Cebu Provincial Board members want a “discriminatory” provision in the proposed operations manual for the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC) removed.

“Homosexuals should be segregated immediately to prevent them from influencing other inmates,” reads the provision proposed by Board Member Sun Shimura.

While Shimura clarified his intention is to keep the LGBT inmates safe, the proposed provision did not sit well with his colleagues.

“What’s the implication of that statement? Aron dili mabayot ang uban maoy pasabot niana. Aron di manakod or ma-spread ang pagkabayot?” asked Vice Governor Agnes Magpale, the Board’s presiding officer.

Board Member Victoria Corominas-Toribio, head of the PB committee on ethics, also suggested the provision should, instead, read, “Homosexual should be segregated immediately to prevent them from being maltreated or abused by other inmates.”

In the end, the board agreed to simply remove the provision although the decision is yet to be formalized as the proposed manual undergoes further study.

CPDRC officer-in-charge Bobby Legaspi who was present at the session also said there have been no cases of maltreatment or abuse involving LGBT inmates in CPDRC.

“LGBT are well treated inside. They are welcomed by other inmates. They are not being abused,” he told the PB.

Segregation

Board Member Celestino Martinez III asked how the inmates are being classified at present.

“It’s just like you want to segregate the males and females. Then you go down segregating the LGBT. How are you going to approach the matter? Are you going to ask them to declare their sexual orientation?”

The response of prison guard Carl Dela Cruz: “By their looks.”

He said they have identified about 10 LGBT inmates, so far.

Dela Cruz said that the provision proposed by Shimura was actually lifted from the old manual of the Bureau of Corrections.

 “In the 1991 implementation of the Local Government Code, the provision was incorporated in the PNP, BJMP and the BFP. In 1997, the BJMP manual was revised excluding the said provision,” he said.

 But this did not sit well with Magpale who believes the approach is “unfair.”

 “Unfair if we refer to their looks. There should be at least an admission. Ask their sexual preference but not forcing them to admit because it is already a violation of human rights. Kakuyaw ba naman ma-aan ta,” she said.

 Magpale said such provision should be looked into carefully by the board and the CPDRC Task Force.

 “We are conscious of human rights. I’m sure the LGBT will raise hell if we will approve this which is not fair to them,” she said.

 “If we approve this Bobby (Legaspi) will have a problem. He will be forced to build another room for the LGBT because we don’t have one, at present,” she added.

 Lawyer William Boco, legal consultant for CPDRC matters, agreed, discrimination is out of the question.

 “As much as possible, we do not like to discriminate. By categorizing these individuals as such is already discrimination,” he said. (FREEMAN)

CPDRC MANUAL
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